Farmer's Response to Changing Climate in North East India
De, U. K., Farmer’s response to changing climate in North East India, 2015, AIP Conference Proceedings, Malaysia, 1643, 30.
13 Pages Posted: 21 Feb 2015
Date Written: February 5, 2015
Diversification of land use in the cultivation of various crops provides an alternative way to moderate the climate risk. By choosing alternative crops that are resilient to various weather parameters, farmers can reduce the crop damage and achieve optimum output from their limited land resources. Apart from other adaptation measures, crop diversity can reflect farmers’ response towards changing climate uncertainty. This paper tries to examine the changing climatic condition through spatio-temporal variation of two important weather variables (precipitation and temperature) in the largest North-East Indian state, Assam, since 1950. It is examined by the variation in crop diversification index. We have used (1) Herfindahl Index for measuring degree of diversification and (2) locational quotient for measuring the changes in the regional crop concentration. The results show that, in almost all the districts, crop specialization has been taking place slowly and that happened mostly in the last phase of our study. The hilly and backward districts recorded more diversification but towards lower value crops. It goes against the normal feature of crop diversification where farmers diversify in favour of high value crops. Employing ordinary least squares method and/or Fixed Effect model, irrigation is found to have significant impact on crop diversification; while the flood plain zones and hill zones are found to have better progress in this regard, which has been due to the survival necessity of poor farmers living the zone. Thus crop diversity does not reflect very significant response from the farmers’ side towards changing weather factors (except rainfall) though they have significant impact on the productivity of various crops, and thus profitability. The study thus suggests the necessity for rapid and suitable diversification as alternative climate change mitigation in the long run.
Keywords: Climate Change, Agro-Climatic Conditions, Crop Diversification, Cropping Pattern, Technology, Agro-Infrastructure, Agriculture of Assam, North-East India
JEL Classification: Q12, Q15
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